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  • Montlake Bridge Improvements - Seattle WA
    The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (F.E.R.A.) supplied labor for the painting of Seattle's historic Montlake Bridge in 1934.
  • Montlake Playfield, Shelter House, and Community Club - Seattle WA
    The Montlake Playfield and Shelter House were constructed partially on fill in former marshlands on the shores of Portage Bay between 1933 and 1936. In the 1910s and 1920s, houseboats moored there, and Dahlialand, a local garden store, utilized nearby acreage to grow dahlia bulbs for commercial use. Montlake mothers, desiring to ward off boredom that might propel their teenagers into juvenile delinquency, pushed for the creation of the playfield, which—with the field house structure that initially housed the community center—were built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers. The playfield was expanded in the early 1960s when material dredged for...
  • Naval Reserve Armory - Seattle WA
    From the National Register of Historic Places nomination file: "Built on the eve of World War II, on the southwest shore of Seattle's Lake Union, the Naval Reserve Armory is a historically and architecturally significant structure closely associated with the history of the Navy in the Pacific Northwest, with Depression-era public works programs, with military mobilization during World War II, and with the role of the armed services in Seattle in the 20th century. Completed in 1942 using WPA funding, the Armory was a community-based project that the federal government eventually designated as an official National Defense Project at the...
  • North Queen Anne Dr. Bridge - Seattle WA
    A grant from the Public Works Administration helped fund the construction of a new bridge to carry North Queen Anne Drive across the Wolf Creek ravine in Seattle's Queen Anne Hill district. Additional funding for the bridge, which cost $66,118, was provided by Seattle highway bonds. The steel and concrete bridge was built in 1936 and replaced an older wooden structure on the same site. Designed by the Seattle Engineering Department, the 238-foot-long bridge is considered noteworthy for its sleek functional design and efficient structural system, the most striking element of which is a pair of parabolic steel arches that...
  • Northwest Fisheries Science Center Improvements - Seattle WA
    "Twenty-five men from the WPA rolls will begin work Monday, November 8, on the final stages of the grading and landscaping at the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries laboratory, 2725 Montlake Boulevard, near the Seattle Yacht Club, it was learned yesterday with the announcement by Don G. Abel, state Works Progress Administrator that $4,810 in WPA funds have been allotted for the project. About five acres will be improved, with special attention to completion of the area formerly a logging canal. The schedule, Abel says, calls for excavating, the filling in of a pond and ravine, grading and seeding grounds, planting shrubs...
  • Pioneer Square Totem Pole - Seattle WA
    This totem pole stands in the middle of historic Pioneer Square, known as the "first neighborhood of Seattle". The Pioneer Square Totem Pole stands tall but unobtrusive in the middle of this square. It is actually a replica of a previous totem pole that was damaged by vandals in 1938 and restored by CCC woodcarvers and then restored again in 1972. It is one of three structures that are listed as a National Historic Landmark as well as being a contributing structure in the Pioneer Square Skid-Road District. It's also, coincidentally, listed as part of three structures in the National Register...
  • Railroad Avenue (former) Improvements - Seattle WA
    The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (F.E.R.A.) worked to improve Seattle's former Railroad Avenue ca. 1933-4. Railroad Avenue was later replaced by the Alaskan Way.
  • Salmon Bay Bridge - Seattle WA
    The Salmon Bay Bridge was constructed under the New Deal in 1934.
  • Schmitz Park Bridge - Seattle WA
    The federal Public Works Administration (PWA) funds provided funding for the construction of the Art Deco-accented bridge carrying SW Admiral Way above Schmitz Park. Construction occurred between 1936 and 1937. The PWA provided a grant of $68,200; the total cost of the project was $172,699. 1223.] "The structure is both listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated city landmark." (Wikipedia)
  • Schurman Rock, Camp Long - Seattle WA
    "This major attraction at Camp Long was designed by Clark Schurman. His dream was to build a human-made mountain incorporating every potential rock climbing problem into its design. After taking a winter to make a clay model of the rock, Schurman worked very closely with the W.P.A. workers to create his dream rock. It took 2 years to complete the 20 foot high, erratically shaped climbing rock. Schurman called it Monitor Rock after its intended purpose to "warn, remind, advise and instruct." After Schurman’s death in 1955 the rock was renamed "Schurman Rock" to honor Clark Schurman’s contribution to Camp...
  • Seattle Parks Construction - Seattle WA
    As one of many WPA and PWA projects in Washington state: "$307,750 was allocated to build parks in rapidly developing areas in Seattle. The parks were constructed between August of 1938 and December of 1939."
  • Seward Park Construction - Seattle WA
    The Civil Works Administration (WPA) constructed a log cabin at Seward Park in 1934.
  • Showboat Theatre (demolished) - Seattle WA
    The Works Progress Administration built the Showboat Theatre in Seattle WA. According to the UW Magazine, the theater was, "uilt by the Works Progress Administration in 1938, the Showboat opened in September of that year with a production of “Charley’s Aunt.” For many years it was the center of Seattle’s nascent theatrical community." "For almost 10 years the University and a group of drama alumni, the Showboat Foundation, tried to save her. The cost of restoring the building—estimated at $1 million in 1984—far exceeded the cost of removing or demolishing the structure. To move it, the structure would have to be dismantled and...
  • South Seattle Playground Improvements - Seattle WA
    In 1939 and 1940, WPA workers made several improvements to the South Seattle Playground, beginning with the demolition of the four-story former South Seattle School building, which had closed in 1932 but remained on the site. Much of the brick from the old school building was reused by WPA workers to build a shelter house for the playground in 1939. The following year, workers re-graded the south half of the field. The playground and shelter house were demolished as part of the South Seattle Industrial Park urban renewal project in the late 1960s.
  • Spokane St. Bridge (former) Improvements - Seattle WA
    The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (F.E.R.A.) worked to improve Seattle's former Spokane Street Bridge ca. 1933-4. The bridge has since been replaced.
  • Terminal 91 Improvements - Seattle WA
    A WPA press release from Dec. 1937 announced: A project, "giving employment to 150 men, will operate in Seattle cleaning up Smith Cove Piers 40 and 41. It is designed to lead the way to the modernization of these two largest piers in the world. The WPA allotted $35,227 to carry on this project." Piers 40 and 41 were subsequently renamed. "In 1944, the military instituted a name change for all piers on the waterfront and Smith Cove Piers 40 and 41 became Piers 90 and 91. The property altogether became known as Terminal 91, and included much of what we know...
  • University of Washington Campus - Seattle WA
    A WPA press release from Dec. 1937 stated: "The finishing touches to the creation of what is said will be the most beautiful college campus in tho west will begin this week with the opening operations of a new Works Progress Administration project. The plans designed, under a series of projects of which this is the culminating one, will give the University of Washington a campus second to none in boauty of landscape, according to the university buildings and grounds engineers. The WPA grant for the present project is the largest single federal allotment to the university and, according to present estimates,...
  • University Station Post Office - Seattle WA
    Seattle's historic University Station post office was constructed ca. 1937 with federal Treasury Department funds. The building, which houses New Deal murals, is still in use today.
  • University Station Post Office Murals - Seattle WA
    Multiple Section of Fine Arts murals hang in Seattle's University Station post office. The murals by Jacob Elshin were painted in 1939 and are entitled Historical Review of Education and Present Day Education and Present Day Education. The murals are in their original location, but what used to be the post office lobby is now work space/storage and is not generally accessible to the public. "Born in Russia in 1892, Elshin moved to Seattle in 1923. He also painted a mural for the Renton Post Office and a WPA Federal Art Project Mural located in West Seattle High School. His University...
  • Van Asselt School Playground - Seattle WA
    The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (F.E.R.A.) worked to develop and improve the playground at Seattle's Van Asselt School. A photo at the U of Washington shows a field of stumps and clearing efforts with the caption "State of Wash., E.R.A. - K.C.D., Project # 508, Dec. 28, 1933, Neg. No 47; Van Asselt School playfield." The Van Asselt school was built on donated land from the late 19th century from an early settler Henry Van Asselt, Built in 1909 - 1950. Rebuilt in 1950 - 2000. Closed in 2000 and moved to the current school a few blocks south.
  • Washington Park Arboretum - Seattle WA
    The Washington Park Arboretum is a public park, run as a joint project between the University of Washington and the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. "In 1933, the Public Works Administration did some rough clearing in Washington Park, but it was not until 1935 that real progress began... Governor Martin proposed the Arboretum as a candidate for additional Works Progress Administration (WPA) funding to Washington Senator Lewis B. Schwellenbach, who approached the WPA with the suggestion. The Arboretum was designated an official project of the WPA, which authorized the employment of 800 workers at a cost of $1.5 million. The WPA funding...
  • Water System Improvements - Seattle WA
    A WPA press release from Dec. 1937 states: "Don G. Abel, State Director of the Works Progress Administration today announced approval of a $148,458 project to improve the water distribution system in the Kenwood district, in Seattle. More than 200 men taken from relief rolls will have about eight months employment, Abel stated. The district affected lies between 15th avenue NE and Lake Washington nnd north of E 85th street to E 155th street. The project calls for excavating, laying pipes, installing fire hydrants and necessary tunneling and backfilling. No additional taxes or assessments will be placed on property holders as...
  • West Prospect Street Sewers - Seattle WA
    "A Seattle sewer project, at West Prospect and Van Buren was allotted $1,140" in WPA funds in late 1937.
  • West Queen Anne Playfield Improvements - Seattle WA
    WPA workers completed several improvement projects at West Queen Anne Playfield between 1936 and 1939. The largest of these projects was the construction of a combination shelter house, grandstand, and baseball backstop near the intersection of West Blaine Street and 2nd Avenue West, at what was then the southwest corner of the playfield. Work on this one-story, concrete structure was completed in 1937. During the following year, WPA laborers painted the shelter house, regraded the baseball field, and added a new layer of top soil. This was followed in 1939 by the installation of a new water and drainage system,...
  • West Seattle High School Mural - Seattle WA
    In 1937, the WPA's Federal Art Project commissioned Jacob Elshin, an immigrant/refugee artist from Russia to produce a 3-panel historical mural for display in the West Seattle High School in Seattle. The panels of the mural illustrate the landing of settlers at Alki on the outskirts of Seattle, and show trade with the Seattle area native population and the development of a logging industry. The panels were originally installed in the entranceway to the high school auditorium, but were taken down prior to a remodeling in the 1950s and were temporarily lost. The Seattle Public Schools Archivist was able to...
  • William K. Nakamura Federal Courthouse - Seattle WA
    The Treasury Department funded the construction of the Seattle federal courthouse, which was the first single-purpose federal courthouse on the west coast.  The project was originated in 1936 by the department's Procurement Division and completed in 1940, by which time responsibility for federal facilities had been transferred to the Federal Works Administration, where the old Procurement Division had morphed into the Public Buildings Administration. The design of the courthouse is Moderne, a stripped-down and flattened version of Neoclassical, that was common for public buildings at the time.  The Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department was Louis Simon and Consulting Architect was...
  • Woodland Park Zoo Improvements - Seattle WA
    The Civil Works Administration (CWA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided funding and labor for numerous improvement projects at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo during the New Deal period. The initial projects were completed in 1933. In the following years, dozens of additional projects resulted in significant upgrades to the zoo's infrastructure and animal quarters. Work on the zoo continued until late 1941, when the United States entered World War II. The first New Deal projects at the zoo were completed through the CWA in 1933 and 1934. These included the construction of new sewers, walkways, and fences in various parts...
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